Stool Samples

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Project by alexsutula posted 02-17-2011 04:28 AM 2383 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired by the works of Sam Maloof. I have been wanting to design and build something like this since I first was exposed to this style of building. Luckily an opportunity presented its self when I was commissioned to design 4 kitchen island stools.

Constructed out of Ash and dyed black. Tung-oil varnish mix finish. Carnauba wax top coat. They measure approx 18”x19”x24” high at the set and 36” to top of back rest.

I contemplated buying a set of plans and templates, I decided against it because I felt like I would get more out of it if i had to do all the planing myself. I spent well over 40 hours designing this piece. That includes rough sketches, measured drawings, full-scale drawing, making templates, and building a mock up out of 2×4 pine.

The way i cut the legs required the blanks to be 3”x3”, so I could get the sculpted effect going around all 4 sides. (not typical in the Maloof pieces I have seen). This dimension stock was not available so I had to glue up my own.

I wanted to do a lot of the shaping by hand, so I shaped the legs using my newly acquired Veritas spokeshave set. I thought I could do this effectively win my tail vise on my bench. This was not the case. The curves of the legs made getting good pressure near impossible. the legs kept on slipping out and I constantly had to adjust the vise, a pain in the ass even though it was quick-release. I always feel that having the right tool for the job is the way to go. So I took 2 days from the stools and built the “Bog’s Shave horse”. It was time well spent. It made maneuvering the legs a cinch, it was comfortable, it looks good, and Ill have it forever.

the sculpting was fun for the first 2 or 3. By the time 5 rolled around I was getting pretty tired. I spend a solid 2-3 days just to sand everything down. Not fun. The constructing went off with very few hick-ups. It was great to see all the time I spent planing and thinking paid off.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

13 comments so far

View wood_maestro's profile


134 posts in 2715 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 04:41 AM

nice job, did you use your new shave horse for this project?

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

View JuniorJoiner's profile


487 posts in 3462 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 04:49 AM

I like what you have done here. good work.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 04:59 AM

bet you have a happy customer

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 05:02 AM

Kind of half way between Maloof and Thoms.Moser nice design well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3072 days

#5 posted 02-17-2011 06:59 AM

marvelous, love this style. I like your designs quite—keep it up!

View Brit's profile


7385 posts in 2865 days

#6 posted 02-17-2011 01:27 PM

That is a nice design Alex. It looks well-balanced, contemporary and yet practical at the same time. well done.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4001 days

#7 posted 02-17-2011 02:57 PM

great design.

I really like it.

Nice build, too


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 3092 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 05:19 PM

I like the bottom of the front legs how the kick out very subtly at least that’s how it looks from the pics. Overall nice job!

What do you mean sculpted effect around all 4 sides?

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View Daiku's profile


232 posts in 2929 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 06:01 PM

Great design and workmanship! I’m sure even Sam would’ve been impressed.

-- Cal Noguchi -

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3829 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 07:07 PM

Stool samples! Too funny. Great work.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2712 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 08:44 PM

Hard work = great fun = super work. Quite nice.

-- Stephen Mines (

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4427 days

#12 posted 02-18-2011 06:34 AM

wonderful chair

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4091 days

#13 posted 02-18-2011 04:31 PM

Nice Job !!!!

-- Scott NM,

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